In my mother’s bedroom is an antique armoire. Its open doors reveal folded quilts, carefully stacked, and hinting at their kaleidoscope of pattern and color. As beautiful as they are sitting on the shelf, nothing compares to the glory that appears when each one is taken down and spread out on the bed, displaying the stitches and handiwork that went into creating them. I love hearing their stories: the feed sack cloth, the shirt scraps, this one that came from an Easter dress and that one made from a soft velvet. The women, over years and generations, gathered together to piece and sew and form these bits of fabric into something more wonderful in their combining than was possible in their separate existence.
When I think of my life in the community that is the body of Christ, I think of these quilts. God, the master creator and craftsman, has fashioned us— his covenant people— into a whole that is much bigger than the sum of its parts. Each of us brings our own beauty, our own personality, our own gifts, and yes— our own quirks, sins, and faults. Just as the quilt maker trims and shapes each piece for its intended use, so does God fit us for use in his kingdom. As a member of this kingdom community called “the church,” I am called with a purpose, I am called to be present, and I am called to pray.
Called with a Purpose
Calling can be a scary concept to ponder and an even harder one to figure out. We like to make things complicated, as if God has some secret plan for our lives that we just need to decipher. Thankfully, God has made it abundantly clear in his word. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27) Love God. Love my neighbor. But where? And how? And what does this look like?…